top of page

Finding someone to help

Finding someone to help your child, yourself or someone you love through a tough time can be a daunting process. I liken it to dating. The need to find someone who is a good "fit" is very real. To help through that process, I thought I'd share some tips. This first post I will focus on the letters behind the names. There are as many degrees in mental health as there are people it seems! All independent practioners regardless of degree have at least two years of post graduate work (most considerably more), have undergone a residency or supervised clinical practicum and if licensed, passed a licensing exam. All must submit to their particular field's ethics and best practices.

Here is a little key to help you decipher!

MD: Medical Doctor, often called a psychIATRIST. Psychiatrists have been to medical school and can prescribe medications. They have completed a residency in psychiatry following medical school.

PhD, PsyD: Doctorate in Philosophy/Psychology, often called a psychOLOGIST. A psychologist most often has an undergraduate degree in general psychology then 7-8 years of a doctoral program specializing in clinical psychology, They can administer psychological testing, evaluate, diagnose and treat mental health disorders.

MEd, MA, MSW: master's of Education, Arts, Social Work. Most of these degrees are 2-3 years and provide a clinician with the ability to treat most mental health disorders, Some clinicians can diagnose and evaluate.

NP, DNP: nurse practitioner, doctorate of nursing practice. These practioners have degrees in nursing and additional certifications in psychiatric issues. They can prescribe medications and treat. Some may diagnose.

bottom of page